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Author Topic: Homemade Laundry Detergent  (Read 1886 times)
Ghostrider247
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« on: November 19, 2009, 07:30:22 PM »

As we all know the state of our economy is bad, people are loosing their jobs, and therefore folks are cutting back on their spending as much as possible. I am one of those people.
I am always looking for new things to try not only to save money, but it gives me knowledge to better prepare myself and my family. So I was searching internet a few months ago and came across a thread on making your own laundry detergent, so I figured I would try it. It worked great for me, its cheap and easy to make, you can make much more than 1 batch, and the items are multi-purpose; all of which are a BIG plus.

The Recipe: Liquid Laundry Soap

Makes Enough for About 180 Loads

1 Bar - Fels Naptha soap (or Ivory)  (I have used both Ivory and "Zote" soap)
1 cup - Washing soda
1 cup - Borax
1 - 5 gal. HDPE plastic utility bucket with lid.


Grate the soap into small pieces. You can chop it with a knife, cheese grater, or food processor. Heat four quarts of water in a large, heavy saucepan on top of stove and add soap, stirring constantly till melted. This will take a while depending on the size of your grated pieces. Meanwhile, fill the five gallon bucket half full with warm water.

Add the 1 cup of washing soda and the 1 cup of Borax and stir well. When soap is melted pour into bucket, then continue to fill bucket with warm water until full. Stir well and let sit overnight until cool. This "concentrate" will thicken as it sits. Stir before using. Now, I use this concentrate straight out of the bucket and use 1/3 cup per large load.

The original instructions said to save an old laundry detergent container, fill half full with concentrate then add water to top. Shake and use 5/8ths cup per large load. Repeat till your concentrate is gone. This will give you 10 gallons of laundry detergent. That just seemed more trouble than necessary. So I use the concentrate as-is. (I did use an old laundry detergent container with spout on it)

You will have enough leftover soda and Borax to make approximately five more buckets of detergent.

My results:

I was extremely impressed in how EASY this was to make. I made a 5 gallon bucket in under 30 minutes, and thats with grating the soap. Now I could not find the Fels Naptha soap at several grocery stores and Walmart, so I used 1 bar of Ivory soap and since have used "Zote" soap. Check your local Ace hardware store, I have been told they have Fels there. And as the instructions say, after you are done mixing, let cool overnight, it will kinda gel up that is Normal, just stir it and get the amount you need.

I have used one bucket already.  LOL  We do alot of laundry at my house.  LOL  Grin  My wife and myself have both been impressed with it so far (and the wife was skeptical, especially when it calls for 1/3 of cup per large load). The clothes come out clean and have a gentle smell to them. If you want your clothes to smell more, add some liquid fabric softner to the load or a dryer sheet.

So whats the total cost?

Well, lets see, I purchased the 5 gallon bucket and lid at Home Depot for $3.00 as I didnt have any more on hand. The Arm and Hammer Washing soda was $3.75, the Ivory soap (3bars) $1.58, and the Borax was $6.75 I think. So all total roughly $15.00 and I can make approx. 30 gallons of this soap, which turns out to be like $.05 a load (give or take a few cents). MUCH cheaper than buying Tide or some already made stuff.

So I hope this helps some of you save on your laundry costs as it will be in the long run.  Grin

               
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ravenwolf31
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 08:11:35 PM »

Wow, I will have to copy this down. Oh and you can get a bar of fels-naptha at lehmans.com . I should do a write up about that place. They make a lot of things for Amish folk and for everyone that is going green.

Here is what I use for my laundry. I use 2 small squirts of Dr. Bronner's Castille Magic Soap, 2 tablespoons of Borax and maybe 2 tablespoons of white Vinegar. The Castille soap, one 8oz bottle has lasted me over a year and cost about $6, Borax about $4 and Vinegar about $1.25. Recently I was able to buy a 32oz bottle of Dr Bronners for about $9 a bottle.
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phuttan
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 08:15:25 PM »

Thanks. I'm going to try this.
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2009, 12:54:47 PM »

Nice Ghostrider!  I just printed this and added it to my "survival binder."  I gotta try this, your testimony has me interested in doing it.  I'll post my results after I do.
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2009, 01:33:34 PM »

Nice Ghostrider!  I just printed this and added it to my "survival binder."  I gotta try this, your testimony has me interested in doing it.  I'll post my results after I do.

Thanks Bob,
I hope it works out well for you.   Grin
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Ghostrider247
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 01:39:49 PM »

If one wants to make the Powered Detergent here is the receipe for that:

      1- Bar of soap
       1- Cup Borax
       1- Cup washing soda


Grate the soap like you would for the liquid, and allow to dry a day or two.  Then mix all the ingredients together and put into a container or freezer bag.  Use 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon depending on load.

I have not tried this version yet, but I have a friend who uses this and says it works just as good and you dont have all of the liquid to worry about.
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mbarnatl
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 06:16:06 PM »

I made the Liquid Laundry Soap as ghost told me of it before and I have been using the same 5 gallon bucket of it for a month now. It works just as good as the store bought soaps. I will be using "Zote" instead of the Fels Naptha soap next time. "zote was on sale for $1 for 2 bars.
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richcoulterjr
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 11:03:42 AM »

so which would be better then, liquid or powder? one heavier than the other? one last longer than the other?
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 09:46:53 PM »

This is actually a class we are having this weekend.
Here is a copy of the recipe we are going to run from our Medic TAZ.

Fels naphtha or zote soap $.97 x 6 or 8
Washing soda 55oz $3.24
Baking soda 54 oz box $2.12
Borax 76 oz $3.38
Oxyclean 48 oz $7.52

$24.02 us tax
Use 1 TBSP/load (safe for HE washers)
Lasts 7-9 months depending on loads with double to triple the amount needed for wash at 5-7 loads a week. Desiccant packets from show boxes keeps this from clumping. Optional: You can liquefy this by heating in a stock pot with some water.
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